How Often Should You Have Your Hull Looked At?

How Often Should You Have Your Hull Looked At?

November 13, 2019

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients concerns how frequently they need to clean their boats—specifically, how many times a hull should be cleaned in a given year or season.

For whatever reason, there is a common misconception among boat owners that the more frequently the hull gets cleaned, the shorter the paint and protections on the hull will remain intact. However, this isn’t true—so long as you work with a cleaning company that is knowledgeable and experienced in cleaning boat hulls and uses the proper cleaning products, you won’t have to worry about cleanings affecting the durability of your finishes.

So, how many times should a hull be cleaned in Fort Lauderdale, FL during a given time period? Here’s some information.

Information about proper hull cleaning

Counter to what some people believe, your anti-fouling paint will actually last much longer if you clean it regularly, because regular cleanings prevent it from getting so dirty that even soft cleaning methods will strip away the finish.

Boat owners commonly get their hulls cleaned every three months, but we don’t think this is quite enough, especially for newer boats. If you wait that long, more debris will build up, meaning the person tasked with cleaning your hull will need to use a more abrasive method of cleaning off your boat, which could result in scrubbing paint off—a problem that could be avoided with earlier cleaning. If you clean quarterly, you can expect the paint job to last about two years.

We strongly recommend bumping up your cleaning schedule to an every-two-month arrangement to ensure your paint job lasts as long as possible, considering how much it costs to create that finish in the first place. This will allow the cleaning diver to use the softest pad when cleaning your hull, because there won’t be as significant a buildup of debris. It also means there isn’t so much abrasion that it will wear off the finish.

By adhering to a two-month cleaning cycle, the hull will be clean much more frequently than it would be with a quarterly cleaning cycle, meaning your boat’s performance in both power and sailing situations will be improved, allowing you to reduce your fuel consumption and your overall carbon emissions. Sticking to a six-times-per-year cleaning schedule versus a quarterly schedule can help you extend the bottom paint to a three-year or longer lifespan, which can save you thousands of dollars in the long run on bottom painting, which can be quite an expensive task. You can do the math for yourself based on the quotes you get for hull cleaning and bottom painting in your area, but we can promise you that the savings are likely to be significant.

If you’re interested in learning more about hull cleaning and the benefits of sticking to a more frequent cleaning schedule, contact Starboard Yacht Group LLC today. We’d be glad to tell you more about our recommendations for hull cleaning frequency in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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